By: Tilly Pearce

***Warning: Lucifer season 5 part 2 spoilers ahead***

Lucifer season 5b dealt viewers a hell of a blow in the latest episodes - as one of the LAPD’s God Squad tragically died in the line of duty.

Detective Dan Espinoza, played by Kevin Alejandro, was shot and killed in a seemingly bog-standard murder investigation, dying in the arms of ex-wife and pal Chloe Decker (Lauren German).

Considering the many supernatural ways he could have died, Dan’s death came out of the blue to fans - but speaking about the decision, Alejandro told that not only did he understand the need for the character’s death, he was the one who suggested it. (But then again, he also came up with the idea before he knew Lucifer would be resurrected once more for a surprise Lucifer season six.)

“These kinds of discussions happen before they're written, to just let everyone know what's going down,” he told us. “We thought that this was it, that season five was the end of our show, and so, me being the weirdo that I am, I was like 'you know what might be a really strong impact? Killing Dan. I feel like the audience is just now getting to understand who he is, and just starting to warm up to him. It would be a pretty impactful ending to him if you just rip it all away.'

"I'm not sure if they'd already been tossing around that idea, but they came back and were like ‘yeah I think we're gonna do that’,” he continued. “It wasn't to be capricious or arbitrary in any way. It was just to show a full evolution of a person, and not only for that person but for the people watching, to go on this journey. Because, in life, we go through our journeys, we form our attachments, and sometimes those attachments are ripped away.

"We thought it was a real, honest way to end someone like him, and it wasn't about just his death - it was about how it impacts. Impacts his daughter, his ex-wife, his new friend. I thought it was handled really responsibly."

Dan did not have an easy ride during season five, having discovered his longtime frenemy Lucifer (Tom Ellis) was the actual Devil, before coming to terms with his faith and meeting literal God (Dennis Haysbert). He even was tormented in the most elaborate pranks of all time in his own special episode, Dan Espinoza: Naked and Afraid. Yet it was only after the detective had adjusted to his new reality that it was cruelly taken away from him - by gangsters that, as it later transpired, were connected to Lucifer’s twin brother, Michael.

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The aftermath of Dan’s death sent shockwaves through the entire group - and brought the comedy and musical frolics of the show’s latest episodes to a screeching halt. Demon Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) suddenly found herself dealing with the grief of death for the first time, having bonded with Dan over the years. Lucifer, who had been on relatively good behaviour for a while, started dealing out ‘Old Testament’ justice to the criminals that killed him. But for Kevin, the most emotional impact came from Dan and Chloe’s pre-teen daughter Trixie, played by Scarlett Estevez, and the heartbreaking moment she found out her dad had died.

Kevin Alejandro plays Dan Espinoza in Lucifer on Netflix

"If you know anything about our show, we're not quiet," he said. "We're jokesters, we're pranksters, we're dirty. We do all kinds of fun stuff together… But on that day, it was nothing but silence. You know that's how important it was to all of us."

In an even more bitter twist, angel Amenadiel (DB Woodside) later breaks the news to Lucifer that Dan didn’t make it to Heaven - meaning the anxiety-ridden cop is currently suffering in Hell. For a detective that always had the best intentions, if not always the right execution, Dan’s afterlife fate was a further stab to the chest. However, seeing as this is a celestial show after all, there’s always a chance for a return, and Kevin has confirmed we will be seeing Dan at least one last time.

Though hesitant to give anything away about the upcoming final season of Lucifer, Alejandro teased: "This is definitely not it for Dan. Joe [Henderson] and Ildy [Modrovich, writers] figured out a way to bring him back in some capacity.

"I think it was important to us. Not only as filmmakers and storytellers, it was something that I personally wanted to complete. I want to complete that journey with the family that we've created. I think that they felt the same way and they found a respectable way, and a way that made sense, to let him be part of it. Whether how big or how small his role is in season six, to let me finish up that journey with everybody, you’ll have to see."

Lucifer season 5b is available to stream on Netflix. Check out our guides to the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.